At the Allen Magazine, Fall 2023


THE CAUSE OF ART IS THE CAUSE OF THE PEOPLE Those words byWilliamMorris, inscribed in stone above the museum’s front entrance, exemplify our longstandingmission to bring the power of art to the greatest possible number of people. Your support for the museum continues this important tradition of connecting art and the public. Learn more at CAN’T MAKE IT TO THE ALLEN? Search the entire collection online: Take a deep dive into highlights from the collection with the Allen App: Visit the galleries, changing exhibitions, and the Frank LloydWright house virtually with Allen Augmented Reality: DON’T MISS A THING Follow us @allenartmuseum Sign up for our e-newsletter: GROUP TOURS Free guided tours are available for adults and K–12 visitors. For information, please call 440-775-8166 or email FROM THE DIRECTOR Connecting in newways with our audiences, and attentively stewarding the museum’s collection, are both important aspects of the work that the staff and I have set for ourselves in the AMAM’s new strategic plan, entitled A Deep Heritage, A Dynamic Future: Community, Creativity, and a Culture of Care. The plan—including the museum’s newmission, vision, and values statements—is available on our website at and we hope you will take time to peruse it. As I wrote in an introduction there, during the past several years the museum field—like society overall—has encountered tremendous challenges in the form of health crises, economic turbulence, and international conflicts. We also experienced much-needed reckonings around racial injustice, a new focus on issues of gender equity and accessibility, concerns relating to ownership of cultural property, and continuing environmental vulnerabilities due to climate change. Along with these important matters has also come a new attention to the proper acknowledgment of Indigenous and other groups—and I’mproud that the the AMAM staff has been working recently both to highlight Indigenous items in the museum’s collection through thoughtful exhibitions and gallery presentations, as well to grapple with the difficult issues that ownership and custodianship of such items present. Importantly, they have been doing so through conversations with members of Indigenous groups, connections that we expect will only increase in future years as we seek to learn from experts of various fields—including Indigenous American and Pre-Columbian cultures, and Islamic and African art—in which the museum has collections, but no curator with significant relevant expertise. Currator of Academic Programs HannahWirta Kinney has recently highlighted Indigenous American items in focused presentations, including Divergent Paths, which reconstructed the different journeys two pairs of moccasins took upon arrival at Oberlin College in the 19th century, one pair ending up in the AMAM and one in a collection without formal institutional oversight (now stewarded attentively by Amy Margaris, Associate Professor of Anthropology, who has been an excellent colleague and advisor regarding proper care for the Indigenous Cover: Artist Anna Von Mertens takes a break during the installation of her work in the Allen’s Ellen Johnson Gallery. Photo by John Seyfried. This page: Maria Martínez (San Ildefonso Pueblo, 1887–1980) and Julian Martínez (San Ildefonso Pueblo, 1879–1943), Black-on-Black Jar with Avanyu Design, mid-1930s–1943. Hand-coiled earthenware. Gift of Maxine Houck (OC 1958) in memory of James A., Pauline A., andWalter E. Houck, 2011.4.1. Opposite left: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (American Indian, b. 1940), Theatres of War, 2006. Color lithograph with monotype. Ruth C. Roush Contemporary Art Fund, 2012.8. Opposite right: Jeffrey Gibson (Mississippi Band Choctaw/Cherokee, b. 1972), One for the Other, 2009. Color lithograph. Gift of Driek (OC 1965) and Michael (OC 1964) Zirinsky in honor of Karl Davis and Nika Blasser, 2023.1.10. 87 North Main Street Oberlin, Ohio 44074 440-775-8665 Tue–Fri / 10 am–5 pm Sat / 1–5 pm Sun, Mon / Closed Always Free

AT THE ALLEN / FALL 2023 / 3 items the museum currently holds); Dis/Possession, which explored, through American artworks, ideas about the land that reinforce a settler colonial mindset; and Objects of Encounter: American Myths of Place, which examined how the works of both Euro-American and Indigenous artists encapsulated both real and imagined encounters with other people and places. One smaller intervention in the galleries, installed in February 2022 by former student curatorial assistant Audrey Libatique (OC 2022) working with former curator Alexandra Letvin, remains on view in our East Gallery. A case in the gallery includes works made by late 19th and early 20th century Indigenous artists from the Southwestern United States, including three pots by Maria Martinez and Julian Martinez as well as silver necklaces made by Diné (Navajo) artisans and other works made specifically for the increasing numbers of tourists who were able to visit the Southwest following the expansion of railroads. Installations such as this combine several strategies—highlighted in our new strategic plan—that AMAM staff are using in their work with our audiences and our collections. These include close interaction with students, faculty, and/or community members in the preparation of exhibitions; attempts (I would say, successful ones) to make a big impact in a small space—in this instance, in just one case in our East Gallery, with others in similarly intimate spaces, including the Northwest and Southwest Ambulatories and Education Hallway; and the use of collection works to confront difficult and topical issues, while seeking to raise awareness and discussion among our visitors. Collecting contemporary works from Indigenous artists is also a priority; indeed, the very first acquisition I made after becoming AMAM director in 2012 was a print by Jaune Quick-to-SeeSmith (Salish Flathead/Cree/Shosone), Theatres of War—pointedly, the first contemporary Indigenous work to enter the AMAM’s collection. We’re delighted that this aspect of the museum’s holdings has grown substantially since then, including through theWendy Red Star (Apsáalooke/Crow) print featured in this year’s Shared Art program (see page 15) and through three prints by Jeffrey Gibson (Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians/Cherokee)— who has recently been chosen to represent the United States at the next Venice Biennale. Many recent acquisitions by contemporary Indigenous artists have come to the museum as generous gifts fromDriek (OC 1965) and Michael (OC 1964) Zirinsky—whose donation in 2015 of a textile by Anna Von Mertens features prominently in a new exhibition in our Ellen Johnson Gallery. While that work relates to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the exhibition focuses on the pathbreaking, yet too-little known, American astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, whose studies at Oberlin from 1885 to 1888 set the stage for her later career. We hope you’ll visit us soon to see this and other new exhibitions, and to help us celebrate the work of Oberlin students past and present, and the ways that their efforts—some of which are highlighted on pages 16 and 17—and those of the museum’s talented staff in concert with community members, continue to resonate positively today. Andria Derstine John G. W. Cowles Director

4 / AMAM.OBERLIN.EDU ON VIEW / ELLEN JOHNSON GALLERY / AUG 1–DEC 23 ANNA VON MERTENS HENRIETTA LEAVITT: A LIFE SPENT LOOKING The insights and efforts of two extraordinary women, separated by more than a century—Henrietta Leavitt and Anna Von Mertens—have combined to form this exhibition. Each has spent a lifetime engaged in close looking, and, more than that, in ensuring that the discoveries that resulted from this intimate, intentional act had positive impacts felt far beyond their own surroundings. Henrietta Leavitt, born in 1868 in Lancaster, Massachusetts, was an astronomer whose discovery of the connection between a variable star’s period of pulsation and its intrinsic luminosity enabled the calculation of large-scale astronomical distance; this allowed for the understanding that galaxies exist beyond our own, and that the universe is expanding. Anna Von Mertens, born in 1973 and living in NewHampshire, is a visual artist whose work at the intersection of art, history, and science encourages us to see important events and phenomena in a new light. In April 1885 Leavitt’s father, a Congregationalist pastor, moved his family fromCambridge, Massachusetts, to Cleveland, Ohio, and in that year Henrietta took up studies at Oberlin College, first in a preparatory course and then in two years of undergraduate classes, includingmemorabilia, trigonometry, literature, mechanics, Greek, French, chemistry, and rhetoric, as well as music at the Conservatory. This preparation stood her in good stead when in 1888 she applied to and entered what became known (in 1894) as Radcliffe College. Here she continued to study languages (Greek, Latin, French, Italian, German, and English), as well as philosophy, natural history, andmath. In her final year she took astronomy at the Harvard College Observatory where, following her 1892 graduation, she pursued graduate classes, in addition to volunteering. Her time in Cambridge was interrupted by travel in Europe from 1896–98, and

AT THE ALLEN / FALL 2023 / 5 several years as an assistant in the art department at Beloit College inWisconsin, where her parents hadmoved, from 1899 to 1902. But in 1903, she was hired at the Observatory as a permanent staffmember, a “computer”—one of a group of women who visually processed astronomical data by studying glass plate negatives of the night sky. She spent the remainder of her years committed to a life of looking, part of a unique community of women at the Observatory who were dedicated to understanding the stars and our place in them. In 1908, the same year she first published her groundbreaking research on the period-luminosity relation, Leavitt filled out and returned to Oberlin a formwith information about her life to be used in the upcoming “Anniversary Catalogue of Former Students,” on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the College’s founding. She noted that her present occupation was “astronomical research,” and that she was a member of the Astronomical and Astrophysical Society of America (1904) and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1906), listing as well her many publications as part of the Harvard Observatory Circular, and her recent, important, 1777 Variables in the Magellanic Clouds, a seminal paper on which she was to expand in 1912. Leavitt’s meticulous observations and careful calculations of cycles of brightness inherent in variable stars provided the first tool to measure the distance to faraway stars. By all accounts hardworking and serious, she was warm and beloved by colleagues. She experienced a loss of hearing in her 20s that left her deaf in her later years, and died of cancer in Cambridge in 1921 at the age of 53. In 1925, unaware of her death, mathematician Gösta Mittag-Leffler of the Swedish Academy of Sciences wrote to her, recognizing the profundity of her discovery and indicating his intention to nominate her for the Nobel Prize—which, however, is not awarded posthumously. Leavitt’s quiet brilliance was appreciated by many who knew her, but recognition of her discoveries, more broadly, was elusive. To Anna Von Mertens, who first encountered Leavitt’s story when she was developing a research-based exhibition for Harvard Radcliffe Institute in 2018, her life and work were revelatory and inspiring—an origin story for the vast distances that had long structured and informed her own work. Patterns, mapping, methods of measurement, and other sources of data are embedded in Von Mertens’s practice. Through a rigorous process that involves digital technology, traditional hand-quiltingmethods, and exquisite draftsmanship, she creates works that investigate our shared history and environment, inspiring contemplation and reflection on our place in the universe. This exhibition centers on a diptych—cinematic in scale— that Von Mertens created depicting the stars on the days of Leavitt’s birth and death; the two panels are separated by an equally large space that holds the span of Leavitt’s life. In these textiles, Von Mertens used threads of varying brightness to characterize the different stars, simultaneously bringing to mind both the focus of Leavitt’s work and the continuing cycle of time of which we are all a part. Von Mertens’s work first entered the AMAM collection through a quilt from a similar perspective, which is also on view in the exhibition and depicts the movement of the stars during the time fromwhen shots were fired at Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968 until the pronouncement of his death. This is part of her series As the Stars Go By, showing the sky above moments of tragedy in American history. Each of these works inspires awe and respectful contemplation—both at the care embodied in the artist’s practice and for the lives her stitches hold. The textiles that CONTINUED Left: View III (detail), 2016. Hand-stitched cotton. Private Collection, New York, New York. Photo by Jade Nguyen. Below: Artifacts (Plate AX3309, Sept. 13-14, 1934, Seeing fair first 1 ½ hrs.) (detail), 2019. Pencil on paper. Private Collection, New York, New York. Photo by Jennifer L. Roberts. Right: View III, 2016. Private Collection, New York, New York. View II, 2015. View IV, 2015. View VI, 2017, View V, 2016. View I, 2015. Hand-stitched cotton. Unless noted: Courtesy of the artist and Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Oregon. Photo by John Seyfried.

6 / AMAM.OBERLIN.EDU denote the start and end of Leavitt’s life also embody gratitude for the pioneering work of this singular, modest woman, whose attention and attentiveness did so much to further our understanding of the cosmos. As Von Mertens has said, “These patterns reveal to me aspects of our existence, whether it is howwe experience time and face the infinite—embedded in that is our mortality—or how the boundary of the body is presented to others versus how it is felt internally. I use the stitch to follow these trails, tracing the paths with my fingers. The dotted line of hand-stitching is a marker of uncertainty, a way of exploring. The time invested in making the work, allowing for contemplation and internalizing, becomes a part of how the work is viewed. I see all of these elements as a form of mapping, reflecting the need to get my own bearings in this vast universe.” On April 8, 2024 Oberlin will be in the path of totality for a total eclipse of the sun—a singular moment when the thoughts of many in our community will be occupied by the wonders of celestial movement and the vastness of space. Leading up to that moment, this exhibition celebrates the pioneering work of Henrietta Leavitt, whose Oberlin College education helped to prepare her for her later study and discoveries that fundamentally changed the human perception of our universe. In so doing, we also celebrate Anna Von Mertens, whose careful, creative efforts have brought Leavitt’s revelations renewed exposure. The exhibition comprises the complete works that were sparked by Von Mertens’s research on Leavitt, commemorating her foundational contribution to modern cosmology and the path of her discovery. Organized by Andria Derstine, John G. W. Cowles Director. CONTINUED

AT THE ALLEN / FALL 2023 / 7 Fromdistant galaxies to the depths of the ocean, artistic rendering is an essential tool for imagining and ultimately knowing uncharted realms. Combining precision and intuition, observation and imagination, the works in this exhibition make intelligible that which is too dark or distant to be seen. This presentation expands on the adjacent exhibition of work by Anna Von Mertens, who writes, “We are stardust. Everything is.” Most of the atoms in our body were formed inside stars, supernovae, and neutron star collisions. Precious metals, too, are cinders of neutron stardust, forged in billion-degree supernovae. Thinking creatively about aerial perspective, geological time, and vision technologies, these works situate Earth within the cosmos, andmake fathomable our infinitesimal existence within it. The exhibition includes works by Berenice Abbott, Lynda Benglis, Vija Celmins, Michelle Grabner, Nancy Graves, Karen Gunderson, Wendy Red Star, and Hiroshi Sugimoto, among others. Organized by SamAdams, Ellen Johnson ’33 Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. ON VIEW / ELLEN JOHNSON GALLERY / AUG 1–DEC 23 EVERYTHING IS STARDUST: ARTMAKING AND THE KNOWABILITY OF THE UNIVERSE Opposite left: Henrietta Leavitt, HUGFP 125.82 Box 2. Harvard University Archives. Oppostite right: Anna Von Mertens. Photo by Caitlin Selby. Opposite bottom: The Stars Fading fromView on the Morning of Henrietta Leavitt’s Birth, July 4, 1868, Lancaster, Massachusetts, 2018. The Stars Returning into View on the Evening of Henrietta Leavitt’s Death, December 12, 1921, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2018. Hand-stitched cotton. Courtesy of the artist. Photo by John Seyfried. Above: Eva Hesse Archive, Postcard fromNancy Holt and Robert Smithson, New York, NY, postmarked July 20, 1967. Postcard with writing in pen. Gift of Helen Hesse Charash, 1977.52.69.44. Right: Vija Celmins (American, b. 1938), Constellation-Uccello, 1982. Aquatint with etching. Oberlin Friends of Art Fund, 1984.27.

8 / AMAM.OBERLIN.EDU Drawn from the Allen’s permanent collection, this exhibition spotlights pivotal moments in figuration and abstraction in the 20th century. Spanning Europe, the U.S., Peru, Mexico, and China, this presentation contextualizes canonical figures in the history of modern art alongside those often overlooked. The dark, brooding tone in some of these works stems from experiences of war, trauma, mental illness, racism, and sexism. Yet even the most fractured, disorienting compositions are punctuated with glimpses of light and resilience. The simultaneity of hope and despair, light and dark, advances and setbacks, is as central to this selection of works as it is to the sociopolitical forces that shapedmodernity. FromCubism to Abstract Expressionism, the Harlem Renaissance, and Feminist art making, the exhibition includes works by Magdalena Abakanowicz, Richmond Barthé, Louise Bourgeois, Amedeo Modigliani, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, José Clemente Orozco, Betty Parsons, Pablo Picasso, Horace Pippin, Miriam Schapiro, Fernando de Szyszlo, Bob Thompson, and ZaoWou-ki, among others. Organized by SamAdams, Ellen Johnson ’33 Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. ON VIEW / STERN GALLERY / ONGOING REFIGURING MODERNISM: A FRACTURED AND DISORIENTINGWORLD

AT THE ALLEN / FALL 2023 / 9 ON VIEW / STERN GALLERY / ONGOING INSPIRATIONS: GLOBAL DIALOGUE THROUGH THE ARTS Today we think of the globe as being connected in an unprecedented way through digital technologies and the internet, but the cultures and civilizations of the world have been linked for millennia by the original WorldWideWeb: trade. Goods and ideas have circulated widely by land and sea, often beginning with valuable luxury objects. These were traded regionally and across continents, exemplified by Chinese silk in the Roman Empire and Roman glass in the contemporary Han Empire in China. As global markets developed, producers of these goods adapted to the wants and needs of sometimes distant buyers, and local makers worked to respond to the beauty, rarity, and value of these imports with their own creations. While the conditions for an interconnected world have been created and energized by the darker forces of greed or imperialism—from the land empire of the Mongols to the sea empires of European and American powers—the objects themselves can reflect higher aspirations. Perhaps beginning with an attraction to the rare or “exotic”, the appreciation for and imitation of artwork fromdistant places points to an openness to newways of seeing and to new ideas of what is beautiful or moving. Artistic exchanges between cultures have long been described in terms of influence: Chinese influence on blue and white ceramics made in East or Southeast Asia; European influence on the use of linear perspective in Japanese woodblock prints; the influence of Islamic design on geometric and floral motifs in European art. But doesn’t the term influence suggest a one-way transfer?What about the makers for whom studying and picking and choosing and adapting of source material was a creative act? Perhaps the term inspiration better reflects the realities of this global dialogue. Organized by Kevin R. E. Greenwood, Joan L. Danforth Curator of Asian Art. Far left: Richmond Barthé (American, 1901–1989), African Head, ca. 1935. Terracotta. Gift of Mrs. Malcolm L. McBride, 1946.50. Left: Miriam Schapiro (American, born in Canada, 1923–2015), The Secret Garden, 1973. Acrylic, collage, and cloth. Gift of the artist in honor of Ellen Johnson, 1975.51. Above, left to right: Sueharu Fukami (Fukami Sueharu 深見陶治) (Japanese, b. 1947), Shō (Soaring), 2007. Glazed porcelain with wood base. Sanford L. Palay (OC 1940) Japanese Art Fund and Oberlin Friends of Art Fund, 2015.17. Chinese, Moonflask or Pilgrim’s Flask, 1723–35. Porcelain with celadon glaze. Gift of Charles F. Olney, 1904.496. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864–1901), Mlle. Marcelle Lender, en buste (Bust of Miss Marcelle Lender) (detail), 1895–96. Color lithograph. Friends of Art Fund, 1955.21. Ichirakutei Eisui 一楽亭栄水 (Japanese, active 1793–1801), The Courtesan Somenosuke of the Matsubaya House, from the series Beauties for the Five Yearly Festivals (detail), late 1790s. Color woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper. Mary A. Ainsworth Bequest, 1950.468.

10 / AMAM.OBERLIN.EDU ON VIEW / SOUTHWEST AMBULATORY / AUG 29–JAN 23 THE INVISIBLE BODY What is inside us? For many, our inner workings can be a source of fear, only thought about in the context of illness, injury, and aging. For others, the mystery of the human interior—the invisible body—has sparked a deep curiosity that has been pursued through religion, science, and art. The works on view in this exhibition present different inner visions of the body. One vision is of the anatomical body, revealed through dissection and scientific study. Another vision derives frommeditation and spiritual inquiry, and sees the inner body as a microcosm, paralleling the structures of the exterior universe, or macrocosm. A final inner vision is that of the artist, adapting these other modes of understanding the invisible body to reflect and comment on their own experiences. Organized by Kevin R. E. Greenwood, Joan L. Danforth Curator of Asian Art. Right: Jacques-Fabien Gautier d’Agoty (French, 1716–1785), Man Seen from the Rear, Ecorché and Dissected, Except for the Right Arm and Face, Kneeling on a Bench, 1759. Etching and engraving with mezzotint in four plates. R. T. Miller Jr. Fund, 2014.53. Below: Leonard Baskin (American, 1922–2000), The Anatomist, 1952. Woodcut. Bequest of Parks and Christie Campbell, 2020.17.30.

AT THE ALLEN / FALL 2023 / 11 ON VIEW / SOUTH AMBULATORY / ONGOING RELIGIOUS ART FROM ASIA A new long-term installation of religious art fromAsia is now on view at the Allen, bringing together familiar favorites with exciting new acquisitions and recently conserved works. In response to faculty and student requests, the entire South Ambulatory is devoted to art associated with some of the great religious traditions of Asia, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto, and ancient works that reflect traditional beliefs about the afterlife. Each work is described in extended labels and grouped in relation to important themes, such as the role of jade and tomb sculptures in early Chinese religion; the iconography, or symbolism, of Buddhist and Hindu art; the role of darshan, or “seeing,” in Hindu devotional practice; the use of protective religious imagery on arms and armor; and the complex role of art in Tibetan Buddhism. Current issues under discussion in the museum field are also put forward. For works of Asian religious art in museums, how can we reconcile their current presentation to many visitors as “art” with their original sacred character and devotional function? How can museums recognize the injustices of past art collecting practices and strive to be a space of stewardship and dialogue today? Organized by Kevin R. E. Greenwood, Joan L. Danforth Curator of Asian Art. Chinese, Seated Buddha, probably Yàoshīfó (Bhaiṣajyaguru, Medicine Master Buddha), 11th–12th century. Bronze with traces of gilding. R. T. Miller Jr. Fund in memory of Hazel Barker King, 1961.51. ON VIEW / EAST GALLERY / ONGOING CLASS, COLONIALISM, AND (OVER)CONSUMPTION Social upheaval in the wake of the Black Death (1346–1352) lent itself to newways of understanding class and social mobility. By the 1700s, European manners and dining norms had evolved to reflect a class-based system that this installation explores. Despite religious concerns about excess consumption, owning and displaying large quantities of luxury goods was common among the upper classes, especially the colonial commodities such as chocolate, tea, and snuff. Those who fashioned themselves as “civilized” maintained their position through their access to expensive and foreign goods that the lower classes only interacted with through servitude. Organized by Professor EllenWurtzel’s class Lords, Peasants, and Pigs on Trial. Royal Saxon Porcelain Manufactory (Dresden, German), Meissen Soup Tureen with Cover, c. 1761. Glazed and painted porcelain. R. T. Miller Jr. Fund, 1948.70A-B.

12 / AMAM.OBERLIN.EDU ON VIEW / RIPIN GALLERY / AUG 19–DEC 12 ANTHROPOCENE AESTHETICS Stemming from a new collaboration between Oberlin College and the United Nations, this exhibition from the Allen’s permanent collection addresses more than a century of the human impact on Earth as recorded in art. It moves from the industrial revolution and depictions of smog in Impressionist painting, through the 20th century and into the present—encompassing Land Art and a wide range of photography and printmaking. Themes of water, industry, landscape, sustainability, and Indigenous knowledge guide this presentation, moving away frommoral judgments, and thinking imaginatively instead of defensively about climate change. The exhibition includes works by Ansel Adams, Laura Aguilar, Margaret Bourke-White, Agnes Denes, Jeffrey Gibson, Roni Horn, Camille Pissarro, Robert Smithson, and Joseph Yoakum, among others. Organized by SamAdams, Ellen Johnson ’33 Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, and Henry Wahlenmayer (OC 2023). ON VIEW / RIPIN GALLERY / AUG 19–DEC 12 VARIABLES: AN EXERCISE IN CLOSE LOOKING This exhibition was inspired by Anna Von Mertens / Henrietta Leavitt: A Life Spent Looking, which is on view in the Ellen Johnson Gallery. That exhibition highlights the work of astronomer Henrietta Leavitt (1868–1921). How does Leavitt’s work relate to the Japanese woodblock prints of the Edo period (1603–1868)? To make her discovery, Leavitt had to carefully compare photographic plates of the same section of deep space, identifying and charting the changes in Cepheid variable stars. This exhibition allows you to practice a similar exercise in close looking. The Allen’s renowned Mary Ainsworth collection of Japanese prints includes many duplicate prints to compare: some simply differ in color choices from one print run to another; some reflect changes by the designer to the original composition; some are compositions from one designer adapted by another; and some are 20thcentury reproductions of Edo period originals. Organized by Kevin R. E. Greenwood, Joan L. Danforth Curator of Asian Art.

AT THE ALLEN / FALL 2023 / 13 ON VIEW / RIPIN GALLERY / AUG 19–DEC 12 WHAT’S IN A SPELL? LOVE MAGIC, HEALING, AND PUNISHMENT IN THE EARLY MODERN HISPANIC WORLD Between 1470 and 1800 in Europe and the Americas, spells were a resource for those in despair. Spellcasting was a practice that was often part magia amorosa (love magic) and brujería (witchcraft). It offered solutions to spiritual, economic, and physical hardships. But spells also allowed people to deceive and transform others, disrupting the imposed order to achieve one’s desired goals. In response, the Spanish Inquisition (1478–1834) used surveillance and punishingmechanisms to maintain and restore the spiritual and political health of the empire. Collaboratively curated by 33 students studying witchcraft in Spain and colonial Latin America, What’s in a Spell? visually explores the subversive opportunities spells offered and the oppressive tactics used to suppress them. In the colonial context, spells drew on local and foreign knowledge about botany and the human body, reason and emotions to challenge the hierarchies imposed by European colonizers. In this exhibition, we read European prints against the grain to understand the cultural anxieties about deception and transformation that were part of early modern European consciousness and further amplified in the hybrid cultures of its colonies. The works of contemporary artists remind us that the power of spellcasting persists today. Organized by Ana María Díaz Burgos, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies; HannahWirta Kinney, Curator of Academic Programs; and students in Saints, Sinners and Other CursedWomen (HISP 417) and Inquisitorial Practices: Heretics, Torture, and Fear (HISP 341). Opposite: Maekawa Senpan 前川千帆 (Japanese, 1888–1960), Factory Streets at Honjo, from the series Scenes of Last Tokyo, 1946. Color woodblock print. Oberlin Friends of Art Fund, 1999.27. Above: Romare Bearden (American, 1911–1988), Conjur Woman, 1975. Collage with spray paint on paper. R. T. Miller Jr. Fund, 2001.3. Below: Utagawa Hiroshige I 初代目歌川広重 (Japanese, 1797–1858), The Rokugo Ferry at Kawasaki, no. 3 from the series Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō (details from two prints), ca. 1833. Color woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper. Mary A. Ainsworth Bequest, 1950.791, 1950.792.

14 / AMAM.OBERLIN.EDU ON VIEW / NORTHWEST AMBULATORY / AUG 29–JAN 21 PICTURING THE INTANGIBLE Oberlin Looks at Dawoud Bey’s Night Coming Tenderly, Black A large, greyscale photograph by Dawoud Bey captures an opening in the woods—a glimpse of Lake Erie. Details in the photograph come into focus only with prolonged looking, as if adjusting one’s eyes to the darkness of night. In his series Night Coming Tenderly, Black fromwhich the photograph comes, Bey said, “I didn’t just want to document what remained of that history, but I wanted to find a way through the imagination to make it resonate through the photograph.” In light of Bey’s aim to use imagination to transcend the documentary role of photography, in this small, experimental installation, the curators dispense with art-historical interpretation to allow visitors to see this photograph through the reflections and alternative connections offered by community members with a personal connection to the work’s subject. They include Langston Hughes’s poem fromwhich the work takes its title, a 19th-century testimonial by a self-emancipatedman, the story of a traveler on the Underground Railroad told by his great-great-great-granddaughter, and the voices of the Oberlin Gospel Choir. These voices offer an experience of the work that is more multisensory, deeply personal, and ultimately more historical, than any art historical analysis. Organized by SamAdams, Ellen Johnson ’33 Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, and Hannah Wirta Kinney, Curator of Academic Programs. Dawoud Bey (American, b. 1953), Night Coming Tenderly, Black: Untitled #24 (At Lake Erie), 2017. Gelatin silver print. MuseumFriends Fund, 2019.17.

AT THE ALLEN / FALL 2023 / 15 ON VIEW / EDUCATION HALLWAY / AUG 23–JAN 28 SHARED ART: WENDY RED STAR Can a single work of art build community? The annual Shared Art Programbrings together all incoming Oberlin College and Conservatory students by using a single artwork as the starting point for conversations about who we are and where we have come from. The Shared Art Committee selected this work for its ability to foster conversations about familial connection and to foreground Indigenous rights. Organized by HannahWirta Kinney, Curator of Academic Programs, and Shared Art Committee members Max Andrejco (OC 2025), Katie Baum (OC 2025), Meera Bhatia (OC 2024), Bryn Kearney (OC 2025), Cecil Pulley (OC 2024), and Carter Cooper (OC 2022) with guidance from the Indigenous Student Council members Isabel Kanoelani Handa (OC 2026), Lynette Gassner (OC 2025), and Rio Manzanares (OC 2025). Wendy Red Star (American, Apsáalooke/Crow, b. 1981), Four Generations: Iikua Biluxbakush (Self Reliant, Amy Bright Wings Red Star) Báakoosh Kawiiléete (Kind to Everybody, Wallace Red Star) Baaeétitchish (OneWho is Talented, Wendy Red Star) Apitebía (Sandhill CraneWoman, Beatrice Red Star Fletcher), 2021. Color lithograph with chine collé. Gift of Driek (OC 1965) and Michael (OC 1964) Zirinsky in honor of Jim Lavadour, 2021.59.9. FLW HOUSE / PROPERTY UPDATES LANDSCAPING PROJECT TheWeltzheimer/Johnson house designed by Frank LloydWright continues to receive exciting updates to the property. Since last fall, the college’s ground service manager Becky Bode and Jill Greenwood have been working together on a landscaping project funded through the generous support of the Ring Foundation. It started with planting an orchard of 34 fruitbearing trees—a feature original toWright’s plans for the property but never completed. “Next, we removed the old concrete pad and returned the area under the carport to its original gravel material with limestone stepping stones to delineate the angles of Wright’s landscape design,” stated Greenwood. Bode’s team removed invasive species and positionedmore than 20 native Ohio plants near the entrance. “It looks beautiful,” said Greenwood, “and I’m eager to see it in full bloom next spring.” The house has the distinction of being the first Wright Usonian style house in Ohio, and one of the few in the nation open to the public. Open house events are the first Sunday of the month fromApril to November and advance registration is highly recommended. For tickets and other details, visit

16 / AMAM.OBERLIN.EDU DEEP DIVE / STUDENT EMPLOYEES OBERLIN COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE A FUNDAMENTAL PART OF THE ALLEN At the very core of the Allen’s vision is aspiring to make our collection integral to the campus experience of all Oberlin students. But this is not a one-way relationship; the Allen relies on students to make our museum a great resource and a positive, creative catalyst for engagement and connection to the campus, the surrounding community, and beyond. The information below gives a little insight and is from the 2022–23 academic year.

AT THE ALLEN / FALL 2023 / 17 HIGHLIGHT / RECENT GRADUATE A STUDENT’S REFLECTION One Monday in December of 2022, I foundmyself in a partially lit gallery in a closedmuseum. I had thought to myself that I was living the dream. Not many people would revel in being temporarily displaced by noise outside of their office on a Monday morning, but for me, it was a chance to sit with Bakunin’s Barricade by Ahmet Öğüt. The barricade installation coincided with my last year at Oberlin andmy first semester as a student assistant. It also aligned with my hopes to create more accessible, inviting, and dynamic museum spaces. As a student assistant to SamAdams, the Ellen Johnson ’33 Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art—generously championed for this role by my art history professors—I knew this opportunity was a result of academic success and commitment to art history and would be a springboard for my post-graduate career. Thanks to the support of Sam, and the patience and grace of the rest of the Allen staff, I hadmyriad experiences—often inaccessible to undergraduate students at other institutions. While at the Allen, I am proud to say Sam and I organized two exhibitions. During this process, I learned invaluable information about a museum’s inner workings: I learned how to use the museum’s digital database, visited the archives, used object and exhibition files for research, and reviewed acquisition reports— including drafting a fewmyself! Knowing Sam had a commitment to queer artists made me feel so affirmed at the museum. In addition to working on exhibitions, I hadmany other meaningful opportunities to share my knowledge and love of art. As part of a student panel, I presented research on Renee Stout’s Seduction Coat—on which I also created an informational social media post. With the help of the Education Department, I had the opportunity to design and lead a tour and taught two classes in French. I amproud of the work I have done, which would not have been possible without the support of my co-workers at the Allen. I am especially grateful for Sam for guidance through the learning process and support as I prepare for post-graduation. — Fudi Fickenscher (OC 2023), May 2023 Edited for length and clarity. Editor’s note: We are pleased to share that Fudi is working at Glenstone, a private museum in Potomac, Maryland as a Gallery Associate/Guide. Good luck, Fudi, we know you will go far! Top: Fickenscher talks with CarrieWise of IdeaStream about working on the exhibition Like a Good Armchair: Getting Uncomfortable with Modern and Contemporty Art. To watch the full interviewwith SamAdams and Fickenscher, visit /ideastream. Bottom: Fickenscher presents as a member of a student panel at a Tuesday Tea event.

18 / AMAM.OBERLIN.EDU INSIDETHE ALLEN INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO EXHIBITIONS Curators Hannah Kinney and SamAdams discuss Where Is Consent in Art (Museums)? during a gallery talk scheduled for Consent Month at the college. This experimental installation explored the ethics of presenting images of power and sexuality. The gallery space known as the Northwest Ambulatory—just inside our main entrance— has been used to look at some of the most topical subjects for museums today such as antiracism, land acknowledgments, the collecting and care of Indigenous objects, and listening to voices outside of the museum profession when considering the meaning of art. DONOR VISIT TheWu family visited the Allen to see the exhibition Riding the Strong Currents: 20th and 21st Century Chinese Paintings from the AMAMCollection in which some of their gifts of paintings by Liú Hǎisù were displayed. Pictured left to right: Dr. GregoryWu, curator Dr. Kevin Greenwood, Dr. Jennifer Pédussel Wu (OC 1990), and DJWu-Wong. Jennifer and GregoryWu’s father Shih-Yen “Sam” Wu (OC 1954) corresponded with the artist for many years. FOR EDUCATION’S SAKE Curator SamAdams holds a study session to discuss an upcoming exhibition on HIV/AIDS. Faculty members from across the curriculum offered insight into the subject and how they could incorporate the works into their courses. You have one of my favoriteAmerican paintings, Harmonizing by Horace Pippin. So thrilled to see it face to face after teaching about it for 30plus years! — Bobbie Bell Noted in the Allen’s visitor book Horace Pippin (American, 1888–1946), Harmonizing, 1944. Oil on canvas. Gift of Joseph and Enid Bissett, 1964.26.

AT THE ALLEN / FALL 2023 / 19 CELEBRATING ART WITH MUSIC In the courtyard behind the Allen, guests enjoyed live music performed by a jazz band including several Oberlin alums. Composer Caleb A. Smith (OC 2019) debuted a composition inspired by a vivid painting in the Allen’s collection by Cleveland artist Michelangelo Lovelace. BACK TO THE ALLEN Artist JessicaWeiss (OC 1973) discussed her work Kiss, donated by Douglas Baxter (OC 1972), during a visit to the Allen in May frommembers of her 50th reunion class. CHINESE LANGUAGE TOURS Three Chinese language audio tours are now available on the Allen App! The Allen’s Curatorial assistant Chi Shu (OC 2023) translated label text and did the audio recordings for tours of two new installations at the Allen: Asian Religious Art, in the museum's South Ambulatory, and Inspirations: Global Dialogue Through the Arts in the Stern Gallery. Chi also moved an earlier Chinese language tour of museum highlights, created by Jingyi Yuan (OC 2021), to the newChinese tour section of the app. Now, visitors who prefer a tour in Chinese, or students learning the language, can enjoy this new app feature! 艾伦纪念艺术博物馆的线上程序Allen App新推出三个中文语音 导览啦!本馆的策展助理舒迟(欧柏林2023届毕业生)翻译并录制 了艾伦的两个新展区的导览:位于本馆南回廊的“亚洲宗教艺术” 展以及位于Stern画廊的“灵感启发:通过艺术的全球对话”。她还 整理了之前由袁婧怡(欧柏林2021届毕业生)制作的“博物馆收藏 精选”导览,一并添加到APP的中文导览部份。本馆希望这个新功 能可以服务于倾向中文导览的参观者或是正在学习中文的学生。 MIKE CRUPI

20 / AMAM.OBERLIN.EDU ROSEN-JONES PHOTOGRAPHY ROSEN-JONES PHOTOGRAPHY MARLISE BROWN Joining the Allen’s staff is Marlise Brown, newly appointed Assistant Curator of European and American Art. Brown holds a Ph.D. from Temple University, where she researched gender, theatricality, and selffashioning in architecture and the interrelated roles of labor and luxury in 18th-century decorative arts. Brown brings with her a strong track record of museumwork, with previous positions at The Barnes Foundation, Walters Art Museum, and Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State, as well as a collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art where she reconsidered racialized porcelain figurines in the museum’s collection alongside the Met’s assistant curator of European Ceramics and Glass. Brown’s history of teaching—both as a lecturer at Temple University and Jefferson University and as a writer for educational websites like Smarthistory and Khan Academy—will serve her well with public and college audiences alike. “I am enthusiastic about working with the Allen’s superb collection and various media,” she says, “from paintings and sculptures to smallerscale works in metal, wood, and ceramics—and creating new opportunities for engagement with students and the general public.” EMILY FRENCH The Allen welcomes Emily French to the museum staff as the Assistant Curator of Academic Programs. French holds a Ph.D. in Mediterranean Art & Archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania, and comes to the museum from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she acted as a visiting assistant professor. At the Allen, French will help current Curator of Academic Programs Hannah Wirta Kinney facilitate teaching engagements with Oberlin College classes—including the almost 300 yearly class visits to the museum. French’s own experience teaching at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology will help her lead classes, tours, and create educational resources for college students. “I’m looking forward to working with and learning from Oberlin students and faculty, and being in such a rich intellectual environment,” she says. French has worked on archaeological digs in Greece, Italy, and Israel, but is looking forward to working with kinds of art outside of her specialty. “I am very excited to explore the Allen’s fantastic collection, and learn more about works of art beyond the ancient world!” HIGHLIGHT / STAFF NEWS ALYSSA TRASTER Allen Memorial Art MuseumDirector Andria Derstine is pleased to announce that long-time Curatorial Assistant in the Education Department Alyssa Traster has taken on a new role at the museum. As Coordinator of Student and Community Connection, Traster will focus her work on strengthening relationships between the community, college students, and alumni through engagement with the museum. This three-year position is a key part of the museum’s new strategic plan. Traster’s wealth of experience at the Allen and familiarity with the surrounding area makes her the ideal candidate to adopt this role. As a native of Vermilion, Traster is passionate about broadening art education opportunities to the wider Lorain County community and bringing even more diverse groups of people to the Allen. “The Allen is really a hidden gem for this area,” she says. “Because we have such a broad collection, we have something that appeals to so many different audiences. I’m hoping to engage different groups of people throughout the community that might not have visited the Allen before.”

AT THE ALLEN / FALL 2023 / 21 HIGHLIGHT / COMMUNITY OUTREACH LIFE LONG LEARNING Since 2015, curator Kevin Greenwood has delivered a series of art historical lectures to packed crowds fromKendal at Oberlin, a nearby senior living facility. Through Kendal’s Life Long Learning Series, which hosts speakers to share their expertise with the retirement community, Greenwood has been able to give eight popular lecture series, many based on the presentations he gave as a college professor in his career before the Allen. Often, the lectures correspond with exhibitions on view in the museum, allowing interested Kendal residents to come see the art in person. “The folks at Kendal are so engaged, curious, and have a tremendous wealth of knowledge to ask incisive questions,” says Greenwood. Other speakers at Kendal have included curators Jill Greenwood, and Hannah Kinney. Curator SamAdams will be presenting in the fall. HIGHLIGHT / COMMUNITY OUTREACH SUMMER CAMP “We love working with partner institutions to improve visual literacy in children throughout the region. The experience of seeing, discussing, and thinking about original works of art is at the core of what we do. When I was a kid, it changedmy life and we want to create that opportunity for the next generation.” —Jill Greenwood This summer was full of tours, crafting, and art exploration through summer camp collaborations. The Allen’s Education Department consisting of Jill Greenwood, Alyssa Traster, and Ellis Lane partnered with eight organizations throughout Lorain County to reach more than 400 kids in a single summer. The Allen’s teamworked closely with camp staff to connect programing to themes and benchmarks of their curriculum. Jill Greenwood, Eric & Jane Nord Family Curator of Education, says, “We center close looking and object-based learning to expand vocabulary and critical thinking skills. The projects provide a comfortable environment for children to share their own interpretations, support their ideas through empirical reasoning, and from that, structure their observations towards historical interpretations about the works of art.” For many of the camps, an interactive tour in the museumwas followed by a free, hands-on activity based on artworks that they had a chance to see in person. From collage to pastel drawing, the Allen provides materials and support for the children to create in a wide variety of methods. This art-making experience is supplemented with lessons that ground the craft in the history of its medium, technique, or subject.

22 / AMAM.OBERLIN.EDU SEP 3, OCT 1, NOV 5 / 12–5 PM FLW / OPEN HOUSES TheWeltzheimer/Johnson House designed by Frank LloydWright is an example of Wright’s Usonian style. Completed in 1949, the home exemplifies mid-century modern living for a middleclass family. For tickets and other details, visit SEP 7 / 5:30–7:30 PM ALLEN AFTER HOURS / OPEN HOUSE All are welcome to an open house highlighting our newest exhibitions. We will have games, crafts, music, food, and fun! Oberlin College students who have recently worked on the What’s in Spell? exhibition, the Shared Art program, and our dedicated Gallery Guides will present mini tours of their favorite objects. SEP 12 / 3 PM TUESDAY TEA / WITCHCRAFT AND POWER IN EUROPEAN AND AMERICAN ART The exhibition What’s in a Spell? Love Magic, Healing, and Punishment in the Early Modern HispanicWorld explores spell-casting as an unorthodox practice that offered solutions to spiritual, economic and physical hardships for people in despair across Spanish and colonial Latin American territories. Building on this, Ana María Díaz Burgos, Eric and Jane Nord Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, will explore the figure of the witch—a spell-caster par excellence—and the visual representations of her power in European prints. In the second part of her talk, she will contrast these European images to their rearticulation in the Americas. SEP 21, OCT 26, NOV 16, DEC 14 / 12:15 PM MINDFUL MEDITATION Libni López, local clinical therapist with Authentically You Therapy, will lead sessions of intentional mindfulness centered around a work of art from the Allen’s collection followed by a discussion facilitated by Ellis Lane, Curatorial Assistant in the Education Department. These hour-long Zoom sessions are free and open to anyone. Please register at meditation_23-24. OCT 5 / 5:30 PM ALLEN AFTER HOURS / OUR OBSERVABLE WORLD: A WINDOW INTO VISUAL ARTIST ANNA VON MERTENS’S PROCESS Visual artist Anna Von Mertens’s exhibition of hand-stitched quilts and detailed graphite drawings, currently on view in the Ellen Johnson Gallery, brings to the fore the discoveries of Oberlineducated astronomer Henrietta Leavitt. Von Mertens will speak about her research-based, labor-intensive practice and how she aligns these two ways of knowing through thinking and CALENDAR OF EVENTS making. At the intersection of art, history, and science, her meticulous, captivating work honors historic figures and events and how their legacies resonate in our present, daily lives. OCT 10 / 3 PM TUESDAY TEA / FROM TREES TO STARS Julia Christensen, Eva & John YoungHunter Professor of Integrated Media, will discuss her artworks The Tree of Life and Burnouts, both on view at the Allen this fall. Burnouts is an installation of obsolete electronic devices displaying animations of “obsolete” constellations in the night sky. The Tree of Life is Christensen’s ongoing project creating a global network of living terrestrial trees that communicate with a spacecraft orbiting Earth for a duration of 200 years. Christensen will discuss her interdisciplinary process regarding the works on view, which include photography, sound, animation, sculpture, and installation. Left: Julia Christensen (American, b. 1976), Antenna tree model (Mt. Wilson), 2019–ongoing. Digital color photograph. Image: courtesy of the artist. Above: Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746–1828), No hubo remedio. (Nothing could be done about it), plate 24 from the first edition of Los Caprichos (Madrid, 1799), 1797–99. Richard Lee Ripin Art Purchase Fund, 2021.26.1. Top right: Japanese, Charger with Map of Japan, 1830–44. Porcelain with blue underglaze. Ronald J. DiCenzo Fund for Japanese and Chinese Art, 2023.6. Bottom right: Jean-Baptiste Joseph Le Roux (French, active second half 18th century), Chocolate Pot, ca. 1755. Silver, wood handle. R. T. Miller Jr. Fund, 1956.67.